Boris Sveshnikov Archive

About the founder

Boris Sveshnikov (1927–1998) was a painter, graphic artist, and book illustrator. Arrested in 1946 together with other students from the Moscow Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts based on a fabricated case of anti-Soviet conspiracy and preparing an assassination attempt on Stalin, Sveshnikov was sentenced to eight years, which he served in camps in Ukhta in the Komi ASSR, working in the same brigade as Lev Kropivnitsky, another artist who had been sentenced at the same trial. Appointed as a watchman in a carpentry workshop, Boris Sveshnikov began making a series of camp drawings in an adjacent art studio. From 1954 to 1956, he lived in Tarusa, Kaluga region, before moving to Moscow and joining a loose grouping of nonconformist artists. He was rehabilitated in 1956 and became a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR in 1958. From the late 1950s, he worked as a graphic and book designer at the Combine of Decorative and Applied Arts and at Goslitizdat. In 1977, Sveshnikov's camp works were published for the first time in the almanac Apollo-77 (Paris), accompanied by Andrei Sinyavsky's essay “The White Epic.”

About the archive

Acquired by Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in 2020, the archive is a collection of materials about the artist’s life and practice, including autobiographical notes, lists of exhibitions, works and book illustrations, documentary photographs, printed publications, business cards, and personal documents. The archive also contains correspondence addressed to Boris Sveshnikov and his wife Olga.

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